Former OSC chief to spend at least a month in prison

A federal magistrate judge ruled Wednesday evening that Scott Bloch, the controversial former head of the Office of Special Counsel, must serve at least one month in prison for a misdemeanor contempt-of-Congress charge.

Bloch pleaded guilty last year to withholding information from a House oversight committee that was investigating what he claimed was the accidental deletion of files on government computers being sought by investigators examining whether Bloch improperly forced out former OSC employees.

Both legal teams argued that the law for contempt of Congress can be punishable with a term of no less than one month, but that the sentence is not mandatory.

In her ruling, however, Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson wrote that Congress "expressly provided for a mandatory minimum sentence of one month... that the language by which it did so is unambiguous; and that no authority permits the court to disregard the provision, or to interpret it other than in accordance with its plain meaning."

The sentencing comes more than a week after OSC released a report concluding an investigation begun by Bloch, which found that White House and Cabinet officials in the Bush administration violated laws against political activity by federal employees. Critics of the investigation argue that Bloch's sentencing undermines the legitimacy of the probe.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.